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Wrinkle Free and Beyond

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: January 10, 2006, from the January 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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So, we know consumers are buying antiaging skin care. But what do we know about what they are really thinking about the products they purchase? Helen Tarver is concerned that some customers are cynical about what they perceive as fake science that shows up in sort of faux-scientific ingredient and product names. She worries that this practice, if allowed to continue, “will turn off a proportion of the consumer population, (that) no longer believe that these things are real.” Others, she said, are always looking for the next magic ingredient in the war against aging. “I think there is a growing polarization between ‘synthetic,’ ‘science-y’ molecules and natural extracts, in terms of their customer appeal.”

Natural ingredients of all kinds certainly do seem to be here to stay. Packer thinks the trend will be in naturals with more activity, that are more standardized, and biotechnology and fermentation, discussed earlier, are areas that will grow.

Veracity is the key for Tarver, whose No. 7 brand carries an ethos of hypoallergenic, non-animal tested or animal derived. “I think my customers are telling me they want truth in products,” she said. “They don’t really care how we deliver it as long as it delivers what we say it will.”

Future Preventive

Research has shown that users of antiaging skin care products are growing younger. The thinking seems to be that if one has to work so hard to get rid of wrinkles once they appear, why not start earlier and work to prevent them in the first place. The idea of preventive skin care is interesting to explore, and no doubt many will. Jon Packer thinks marketers don’t yet see the sizzle in preventive skin care. Consumers also need a lot more education, he said, as many do not yet make the connection between UV insult and skin damage–and preventive products already exist to ward of the effects of sun exposure. Pollution and cigarette smoke are other villains that can, to a great extent, be avoided. And moisturizing is something that everyone can do to keep skin looking healthy and alive.

Still, whether it comes in prevention or repair, one thing seems sure: The future for antiaging active ingredients and skin care will be very bright indeed. n GCISuppliers and marketers are answering the call for new antiaging skin care with technologically advanced active ingredients incorporated into a broad range of products.